These two get to share and entry because they both caught me off guard and also delivered within 36hours of each other.
On Monday night, about 10pm, I went out to close up the barn and I checked on Juno, who was out with the other goats. Her udder was a little bigger, but her ligaments were still tight, and she her belly had not dropped yet. She was acting normal and was 143 days pregnant (still 2 days early). I left her out with the herd and went to bed. In the morning, when I went out to do chores, I noticed she was in the polydome while all the other goats were out eating. I thought she was probably going into labor and made a mental note to check her when I got done milking. However, when I looked over again, I saw a little head peeking out from the polydome at me! I ran over, and sure enough, Juno had both kids dried off and up nursing, with a placenta already delivered. She had clearly given birth through the night. I had been concerned about her because she is by far my smallest goat and a first-freshener. Apparently, my fears were unfounded. I moved her in to the kidding stall so I could give her a snack and molasses water, and assess the kids. Her babies were teeny tiny, just like her, but perfect. She has a fawn-colored girl with black points, and a light reddish-brown boy with a couple white spots and blue eyes. They are both reserved.
Tinker decided to surprise me the next day. That morning, her udder was noticeably bigger and she was wandering away from the rest of the herd; her ligaments were soft but not gone. I texted a couple people that Tinker would probably deliver today. I had a very busy morning including a visit from our goat vet to disbud (dehorn) Gwendolyn’s kids. While the vet was over, I pointed out Tinker and told her I was preparing for her delivery. The vet eyeballed her, and said “Probably not today; she hasn’t dropped”. I reminded her about Juno’s surprise, and we both had a laugh. I finished up all my outside chores, including turning over the kidding stall for Tinker’s delivery. I went inside for a shower and lunch. About an hour later, my four-year-old son came running in and shouted “Tinker had her baby at the playground!” We all ran out and it was clear I had missed the delivery by minutes. We looked around for a second baby (she had an early ultrasound that predicted twins), but it was pretty obvious there was only one. It was easy to track her labor. I could see where she had dug up the ground and where her water broke. I brought her in the kidding stall so we could get her fed and examine the baby. He was quite big compared to Juno’s kids (especially considering they have the same father) and healthy. He resembles Tinker a lot, with some moonspots from Ruger. After being very impressed with Tinker’s udder so far, I will be retaining this boy to contribute to my low-generations, new bloodlines line.
I believe the warmer weather helped speed these deliveries along because the goats were able to stay very active during their labors. It’s something to keep in mind for next year.
Compare Juno’s girl to Tinker’s boy: